Today, Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed April 10-30, 2020 as “21 Days to Stay Home and Stay Healthy in Nebraska” during his daily press briefing on the State’s response to the ongoing pandemic. Infectious disease experts project that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be at or near its peak in Nebraska by the end of April. For the next three weeks, the Governor is urging Nebraskans to avoid non-essential errands and to limit social gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Governor also announced a new statewide Directed Health Measure (DHM) to guard against the spread of COVID-19. It orders certain businesses where six feet of social distance cannot be maintained to close through April 30th. The DHM also prohibits organized group sports through May 31st.
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird joined Gov. Ricketts to reinforce the importance of staying home over the next few weeks. Jason Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer for the State of Nebraska, also spoke at today’s press conference. He reviewed the steps taken by the State to protect the health of its teammates and the public, while also ensuring the continuity of essential services to Nebraskans.
Gov. Ricketts: “21 Days” Proclamation
· We are entering a new phase in our fight against the virus.
· Based on the modeling we’ve seen, it is likely that Nebraska hits our peak with the virus in the next few weeks.
· Today, I am designating the next three weeks as “21 Days to Stay Home and Stay Healthy.”
· During this time, it is the civic duty of each and every Nebraskan to help slow the spread of the virus.
· For the next three weeks, we are asking all Nebraskans to redouble their efforts to practice good hygiene and social distancing.
Read the proclamation by clicking here.
Gov. Ricketts: Six Rules to Keep Nebraska Healthy
1. Stay home. No non-essential errands and no social gatherings. Respect the ten-person limit.
2. Socially distance your work. Work from home or use the six-foot rule as much as possible in the workplace.
3. Shop alone and only shop once a week. Do not take family with you.
4. Help kids follow social distancing. Play at home. No group sports. And no playgrounds.
5. Help seniors stay at home by shopping for them. Do not visit long-term care facilities.
6. Exercise daily at home or with an appropriately socially-distanced activity.
o Nebraskans have been doing a great job of complying with our social distancing directives.
o These six rules will unite Nebraskans in our shared goal of slowing the spread of the virus as we enter its peak period.
Gov. Ricketts: New Directed Health Measure
· Today, I am also announcing a new Directed Health Measure that orders additional statewide business closures.
· The aim of the DHM is to bring greater consistency across the state.
· For example, several local jurisdictions have already closed salons. The new DHM will close them statewide.
· We are also closing the sports loophole. Some people have tried to continue group sports, and this new DHM prohibits playing them.
Full text of the Directed Health Measure is available by clicking here.
Mayor Gaylor Baird: Stay Home, Stay Healthy
· I want to emphasize the Governor’s message to stay home so that we can stifle the spread of the virus.
· The actions we take over the next 21 days will be critical to our success as a city and as a state.
· By calling on Nebraskans to stay home, we’re following the best guidance of public health officials and medical experts in Nebraska.
· The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has set up a coronavirus hotline at 402-441-8006. Since March 23rd, the health department has answered nearly 1,000 calls.
· The simple actions each of us take really do make a difference
· First responders and health care workers show their heroism by reporting to work each day. As Nebraskans, the rest of us can display heroism by staying home for the next 21 days.
Jason Jackson: Staying Healthy while Serving Nebraskans
· Under Gov. Ricketts’ leadership, we directed all of our agencies to consider work-from-home options starting in the first week of March.
· At that time, the Governor also directed all of our agencies to apply their continuity plans.
o These plans have been in development since the beginning of Gov. Ricketts’ administration.
· During the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for the State to provide essential services to Nebraskans.
· The State is committed to provide these essential services, while also taking precautions to protect our teammates and the public.
· Where possible, we’re allowing teammates to telework, work from home, and engage in other distributed work arrangements.
· Roughly 30% of State teammates have adopted alternative work styles.
· That’s a remarkable operational achievement for state government while maintaining the same level of service to the public.
· We’re investing in technology to enhance our capabilities to operate under social distancing guidelines.
· We received 250 laptops just this week from the Office of the CIO, and we have another 750 laptops coming in next week.
· We’ve repeatedly emphasized the importance of social distancing within the workplace.
· Additionally, we’ve been very clear that sick teammates should stay home, as should teammates with sick household members.
· We’re also providing extended leave benefits. This gives teammates the peace of mind of knowing that they have income security and can provide for their families even if they become ill.
· We’ve increased the janitorial services and cleanliness of state facilities.
· These efforts are a reflection of years of work and leadership on the part of the Governor to maintain essential services in unforeseen circumstances like this pandemic.
Watch video of today’s press briefing by clicking here.